Angels hope Wells isn't dry for future seasons

The Sports Xchange
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The Angels are tied to left fielder Vernon Wells for another three seasons at $21 million per year, so manager Mike Scioscia obviously has to believe in him.

"I think he's going to be more productive next year, for sure," Scioscia said of Wells this week.

A bounce-back year is a must for Wells, who is headed for career lows in batting average (.223) and on-base percentage (.252) while falling short of his usual RBI production. But he has at least given the Angels signs that he can turn things around.

After going hitless Thursday in the Angels' 4-3, 12-inning loss to his former team, the Blue Jays, Wells is batting .266 (21-for-79) with two doubles, two triples, six home runs and 15 RBI in 19 games this month.

"The last 20 games you're seeing a guy using the whole field, taking walks when it's there, getting in good counts," Scioscia said. "That's what Vernon brings.

"Hopefully, it'll be a growth experience for him."

Wells is making $23 million this year in the fifth season of the seven-year, $126 million deal he signed with Toronto in December 2006. He has the right to opt out of his contract after this season, but it's hard to imagine he'd get one-third of the amount he's due in 2012, 2013 and 2014 if he hit the open market now.

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